Switch of products

Here is a bit of “how-to” and “just in case you are curious” all combined into one post. The how-to part illustrates through images the soil block making process. The just in case you are curious part is sharing with you the fact that I have switched our brand of soil that we use.

First…the soil. Our local organic supplier quit carrying the McEnroe brand of soil because folks got a little upset about finding twigs, fruit labels and other items in their soil. I can understand that concern….but the soil seemed akin to beautiful compost, and our seedlings didn’t seem to care about twigs or non-organic fruit labels (McEnroe’s soil comes from Maine where they take food and yard wastes and make them into lovely compost…so a fruit label here and there isn’t a big deal to meal. I like that they convert wastes to useful product. Plus, this product’s contents resembles Eliot Coleman’s recipe. How can that be bad? Off my podium now.). The replacement soil was primarily peat based, had a lot of perilite in it, and frankly was a challenge to work with to make soil blocks. It isn’t even a commercial based product…just an organic potting soil. Plus, the seedlings just didn’t seem to thrive. In fact, most had yellowing of the cotyledons…something I hadn’t seen before. So, anyway, I found another vendor who sells the McEnroe product….of course they are in Waynesboro…some 3 hours away or so. The good news is that they travel all around the state and have specific spots in different locales for drop off points! Hurray! The bottom line is, I got my beautiful soil back, at a cheaper price despite the delivery aspect, and I could give a rip if I find a small twig or fruit label. It is a great product that I am happy to be using again.

Now…for the how-to part. I’ve verbally and haphazardly posted about soil block making. Here are step by step photos, using the pretty McEnroe’s premium organic soil.

 

McEnroe's soil - general purpose mix tub

McEnroe’s soil – general purpose mix tub

Add water

Add water

Mix by hand...cake batter consistency

Mix by hand…cake batter consistency

Test - squeeze and see water

Test – squeeze and see water

Press block in soil

Press block in soil

Fill blocks well with soil

Fill blocks well with soil

Move to tray (trays are resusable for years...and are recyclable plastic)

Move to tray (trays are reusable for years…and are recyclable plastic)

Squeeze

Squeeze

Ejected blocks!

Ejected blocks!

Nearly ready to seed

Nearly ready to seed

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